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    • The €170 million Tunisia Economic Recovery credit line will back micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. This financing goes hand in hand with an €8 million EU grant.
    • A €210 million loan has been granted to create a dual carriageway between Sfax and Kasserine to improve regional connectivity and promote balanced economic growth.
    • A €45 million loan has been approved for the ELMED Italy-Tunisia electricity interconnection project.
    • There will also be a €25 million EU grant for school modernisation.

    Ioannis Tsakiris, the new EIB vice-president responsible for financing in North Africa, will make his first official visit to Tunisia on 12 and 13 June 2024. He will meet with several members of the government, attend the Tunisia Investment Forum and announce new EIB financial support for Tunisia totalling €450 million. This EIB commitment is intended to finance investment that is key to developing vital infrastructure and creating jobs.

    This large-scale funding programme reflects the Bank’s ongoing commitment to promote economic and social development in Tunisia. The targeted projects aim to boost private sector resilience and growth, promote sustainable energy solutions and make it easier to access remote areas, thereby fostering more inclusive growth.

    Among the new announcements, the €170 million Tunisia Economic Recovery credit line will strengthen support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up around 90% of the country's businesses and employ 60% of its workforce. By making it easier for them to access finance and providing innovative risk-sharing instruments, the EIB aims to back companies that continue to invest and create jobs. This project is also receiving a €8 million grant from the European Commission.

    In addition, the EIB is set to sign a €210 million finance contract to modernise the strategic corridor between Sfax and Kasserine to improve connectivity and reduce travel costs. This support will therefore foster more inclusive growth and private sector development in surrounding regions by linking them to major economic centres.

    A €45 million loan will be allocated to the ELMED Italy-Tunisia electricity interconnection project, alongside Team Europe partners. This project will help improve Tunisia’s energy security and will enable the country to take advantage of its renewable energy production potential. It is in line with broader EU energy security and sustainability objectives.

    In addition to these new allocations, the EIB will sign a €25 million EU grant for the modernisation of Tunisian schools, following on from a €40 million loan signed in 2023. This project aims to improve learning and teaching and teaching conditions in schools, benefiting around 14 500 pupils by building 80 new primary schools and expanding educational digitalisation.

    EIB Vice-President Ioannis Tsakiris said: “Tunisia is an important regional partner for the EIB and our support for its initiatives remains steadfast. This new financing demonstrates our commitment to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, developing sustainable energy infrastructure and improving intra-regional connectivity. These investments will play a crucial role in creating jobs, boosting innovation and promoting balanced development, benefiting all Tunisians.”

    Background information

    European Investment Bank (EIB)

    Since 1979, the EIB has played a key role in Tunisia’s economic and social development, supporting projects that positively transform everyday life. Through substantial investments in vital areas such as renewable energy, education, urban development and support for small businesses, the EIB is strengthening critical infrastructure and fostering inclusive growth.

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance beyond the European Union. It is a key partner in the European Union’s Global Gateway initiative, and is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.

    Global Gateway is the European Union’s strategy to narrow the global investment gap, boost smart, clean and secure links in the digital, energy and transport sectors, and strengthen education, health and research systems. The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States and European development finance institutions. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investment from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.